Name: Bright/Bridge Road/Black Dog/Sweet Water Rule 47 2014

Style: Witbier

Country: Australia

ABV: 6.6%

Beer description: The Rule 47 is a collaboration between the Victorian High Country Brewers: Bright Brewery, Bridge Road Brewers, Black Dog Brewery, and Sweet Water Brewing Company. Every year the four breweries come together to make one epic brew. Now, it’s not called the Rule 47 because it’s the 47th time they’ve done this or anything like that, it’s actually a cycling reference; the High Country is a popular cycling spot.

Rule 47, according to Velominati (the keepers of the cog) states:

“Cycling and beer are so intertwined we may never understand the full relationship. Beer is a recovery drink, an elixir for post-ride trash talking and a just plain excellent thing to pour down the neck. We train to drink so don’t fool around. Drink quality beer from real breweries. If it is brewed with rice instead of malted barley or requires a lime, you are off the path. Know your bittering units like you know your gear length. Life is short, don’t waste it on piss beer.”

So with that in mind, the High Country Brewers set out (this year) to make a Belgian Witbier, but pack full of Victorian hops (Egnigma and Summer) grown in the high country.

There’s not much head when the beer is poured and it dies down quickly, it’s got the hazy tan colour of a witbier. There’s nothing exceptional looking about this beer. It doesn’t look collaborative, but then again, how would it?

The citrus really comes out in the aroma of this beer, and it compliments the witbier style quite nicely. The citrus is of lemon zest. There can sometimes be a honey element to wheat based beers, bust it’s hard to tell if it’s in there or if there’s just an imagined interaction with the lemon. While there’s not a huge amount of wheatiness about the aroma, it’s definitely there. There’s also the vibe of Australian lagers amongst the smell; thankfully the brewers managed to find the good aspects of this aroma and place it in the beer. It’s a beer that’s supposed to be enjoyed with others, so giving it the feeling of having a pub-like smell is a nice touch. That being said, it’s just the vibe…

One obvious thing that comes out in the taste of this beer is coriander, which is only to be expected with the style. There’s a certain sweetness about this beer, but it doesn’t seem to come on until the end. It’s almost a synthetic sweetness, like artificial sweetener. This beer was designed to be a hopped up (read: bitter) version of a traditional witbier and they pulled it off quite well. The bitterness comes in the middle, sandwiched between the coriander and the sweetness, and then back again at the back of the mouth. The citrus zest comes and goes of its own accord, just hanging out a little bit.

It seems that a little bit of each brewery is tasted in this beer. It’s been noted in reviews of Black Dog beers that there can often be a funky yeastiness about their beers, and there’s no difference here. However, upon emailing the brewer, it seems that this taste is probably more from Black Dog’s fermenting temperature and combinations of hops used to give it an all in all earthy tone. So it’s hard to say for this particular brew where that feeling is coming from. That being said, once again, it’s in the vibe, and there’s similar feelings coming from the other breweries.

The label of the beer says that this beer is best enjoyed collaboratively, which seems to be the case. It’s a beer that needs to be enjoyed after a big bike ride with some friends.

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